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Tripod vibration and resonance

The dirty little secret that Gitzo won’t tell you is that all of its tripods resonate quite strongly!

Most of the improvements made by Gitzo in recent years have been about weight, no mention of how new models fare in terms of damping vibration. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, more or less.

It’s perfectly ridiculous to talk about how sturdy a tripod is, or how much weight it can support, yet ignore the critical issue of resonance, which is the dominant factor in whether an image is sharp, particularly with telephoto lenses.

A quick stability test

A persuasive approach to determining the stability of a tripod/head/lens setup is to simply look through the camera viewfinder and observe how stable the image looks after shooting a frame. With long telephoto lenses, simply looking through the viewfinder might reveal an unstable image even without shooting a frame!

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

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  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

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